Map of Barsaive
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The Map of Barsaive

This is a map of Barsaive. It is best viewed in 1024x768 or higher resolution. It is probably as accurate as any that can be made with Fourth World cartography skills. The basic relationships between forests, jungles, rivers, mountains, and cities are pretty accurate.

Barsaive is based on the Volga River basin. Death's Sea is the Black Sea and the Aras Sea is the Caspian Sea. The Serpent and the Coil are somewhat mixed up with the Don and the Volga. The Blood Wood is located near Chernobyl, which translates as "Wormwood". And, of course, the Blood Wood used to be the Wyrm (ancient dragon) Wood.

If you can find and forward to me a map of the Volga River basin, including the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, the Don and Dneiper rivers, and about as far west as you see here, that would be most helpful.

Features of Barsaive


Iopos is a well-lit city with broad boulevards and attractive architecture. It is a totalitarian police state. Informers are everywhere and the guards are absolutely incorruptible and empowered to try, convict, and pass sentence (from fines to execution) for most crimes, on the spot. It is ruled by Uhl Denairastas with the help of his numerous nieces, nephews, and younger cousins.

Blood Wood

The Blood Wood is a closed society. Anyone trying to enter, except for the blood elves who live there, is almost always torn apart by the fierce and deadly creatures that live there. Every living thing in the Blood Wood is in constant pain, especially the blood elves, who are pierced from within by numerous thorns all over their bodies. It is the home of the Elven Court, ruled by Queen Alachia, and the center of all that is best in elven culture. Her palace, supported by eight enormous blood oaks, is said to be both beautiful and very disturbing.


Parlainth is the Forgotten City. All memory of it disappeared during the Scourge, which it spent in one of the Netherworlds. It was only remembered when J'role the Honorable Thief and his companions were able to unlock its secrets and return it to Barsaive. It is now an empty, Horror-infested tomb. Because it was the Theran provincial capitol, it is also the richest and most dangerous source of legendary pre-Scourge treasures and magical items. Adventurers flock to the walled off section in the southeast, Named Haven, and make many expeditions into the ruins.

The Wastes

These are a complete wasteland. There is nothing here but blowing dust and Horrors. Astral space is Corrupt here. It is believed that there are more lost kaers in the Wastes than any other part of Barsaive.


This city is under a continual cloud of dusts blowing in from the Wastes. Home to the best airship yards in Barsaive, and also a central airship port. There are regular, favorable air currents to every part of Barsaive here. It is ruled by a consortium of merchant families and shipyard owners, who rarely agree on anything unless a huge threat unites them all.

Liaj Jungle

The Liaj Jungle is home to the Cathan and Tamer tribes, and all manner of fierce animals.


Kratas is the City of Thieves, a wrecked citadel with a town's population. All manner of shady, mercenary, and illegal activities take place here, and almost any services or goods can be had. The top gang boss is Garlthik One-Eye, an ork who may be over 100 years old. Throal treats him as a head of state, and he passes intelligence to them.

Servos Jungle

Home to Griffin Falls, savage tribes of t'skrang, and the legendary giant bestial t'skrang, called ... uh, GM forgets.


Bartertown started out as a trading post of merchants who did not want to pay Throalic taxes, and so set up shop outside Throal's gates. It has become a frontier town of 20,000 or more, composed of bars, shops, taverns, warehouses, and inns. Magistrate Clystone has put a tax on all cash transactions, which mainly funds his tax collectors, who are hard to tell from the gangs of extortionists running protection rackets.


The dwarf kingdom of Throal is the foremost nation in Barsaive; it is orderly, with a lot of high and low culture, and well taxed. It is composed of the Grand Bazaar, the nine Halls, and the Inner Cities. Below it are the abandoned tunnels of Braza's kingdom, full of horrors and old mines that are not yet all played out. Throal promulgates governance based upon individual rights of life, liberty, and property, and is ruled by King Varulus III.


Darranis is some 250 miles upstream of Lake Ban, at the highest navigable point on the Coil River. It's a busy and brawling riverport, where all the caravans from Throal reach the trading lanes of the Serpent.

Throal Mountains

The lands around Throal are inhabited by Throalic citizens known as Garahamites, after Tav Korelsed's friend Garaham, the first dwarf to bargain with the mountain's spirit and gain its permission to mine. They are patrolled by Terath's Chargers and six much smaller bands of mercenary ork cavalry. They are also home to two Great Dragons--Icewing and Mountainshadow.

Delaris Mountains

"Delaris" means "quiet." The Delaris Mountains are home to the Great Dragon Vasdenjas. Very few Theran airships will patrol north of these mountains.

Twilight Peaks

The Twilight Peaks are home to the various Crystal Raider moots, including the honorable Stoneclaws, the bloodthirsty Bloodlores, the metalworking Ironfangs, and numerous other sky raider and landbound troll tribes.

The Badlands

The Badlands were some of Barsaive's most fertile and productive farmlands before the Scourge. Now they are blasted rocky outcroppings and hard dirt heaths, populated only by Horrors and Scourge-wracked creatures.


Travar is the only city in Barsaive of any size to come through the Scourge unscathed. It is a lovely city with many gleaming white marble towers. It is ruled by three Magistrates, who earn three year terms by sponsoring winning fighters in an anything-goes gladiatorial combat tournament called the Founding. A fight ends when one of the fighters gives up or can no longer continue.


Vivane is the Theran Capitol of Barsaive, regardless of the fact that Thera's domination only goes as far as the Delaris Mountains and the Twilight Peaks. The city is allegedly ruled by Quarique Oathstone, but everyone knows he is Overgovernor Kypros' toady.

Sky Point

This military base is set upon five gigantic stone pillars hundreds of feet high. It is home to Thera's Eighth Legion and Ninth Fleet. The nearly lawless town of Vrontok lurks in its shadow, providing it with slaves and supplies.


The Serpent River that winds through most of Barsaive averages about 4 miles wide. It is not possible to wade or swim across it. Nor are there any bridges or fords. In general, you will have to find a ferry. Most are older riverboats no longer servicable for trade, but nearly any craft may be pressed into service in calm waters. Usual cost for ferry service is 2cp per pair of legs and 2 sp per axle.

Upper Serpent

The Upper Serpent is dominated by the Ishkarat Aropagoi, the House of the Wheel, which was unknown before the Scourge. They are allied with the Denairastas clan that rules Iopos, and they recently took over a mighty Syrtis fortress in Lake Vors. They favor boarding tactics with large parties of swordmasters. Their shivalahala and base are not known.

Mid Reach Serpent and River Mothingale

The Mid Reach of the Serpent is dominated by the most ancient, noble, and inbred of the major aropagoi -- House Syrtis, the House of the Dragon Moon. They hold Caer Eidolonn at the branch of the Mothingale in concert with the Blood Wood to stem Ishakarat's growing influence. They are an ally of Throal. Their base is Lalai Gorge, directly east of Darranis on the Serpent, and the start of the t'skrang Pilgrimage Route that ends at the Ayodhya Liferock, near Lake Ban. Their shivalahala is a high-circle Wizard adept who is unable to control its talents because it is in kaissa. If it comes out male, this will be probably the greatest scandal ever to hit the Serpent River.

Coil River, Aras Sea, and Urupa

This entire area is dominated by the V'strimon Aropagoi, the House of Reeds. Urupa is a new city, founded since the end of the Scourge, and it is rather plain-looking and undecorated. It is home of the only embassy of the People from Across the Aras Sea (they have given Barsaive no other Name). It's relatively wealthy and an ally of Throal.

Lake Ban and the Floating City of V'strimon

The Floating City of V'strimon is woven entirely of living reeds which grow from the bottom of Lake Ban. V'strimon favors the shimoam, a small and fast riverboat with a deep keel and a ramming prow. Their shivalahala is a 12th circle Elementalist who sent an entire fleet of Theran airships to the bottom of Lake Ban with a single spell. V'strimon is a close ally of Throal.

Lower Serpent and Mist Swamps

Right at the fork of the Travar River (which I forgot to put on the map) are the sixteen towers of the K'tenshin Aropagoi, the House of the Nine Diamonds (so called because the sixteen towers, arrayed in a 4x4 diamond pattern, make nine smaller diamonds). K'tenshin controls the Serpent from just below Lake Ban to the Mist Swamps. The Mist Swamps are home to the Great Dragon Aban. K'tenshin's shivalahala is a 10th circle warrior, and runs the K'tenshin War School, the most highly regarded school of war in Barsaive. K'tenshin, an ally of Thera, has suffered many setbacks in recent years.

Death's Sea and Scarlet Sea

Death's Sea and the Scarlet Sea are both seas of molten stone, and cannot be survived without powerful magics. They are the foremost place to mine for True Fire in Barsaive. There are also a surprising number of magical (and deadly) creatures that live here. Death is said to be trapped within Death's Sea, having been imprisoned there by the Passions before the Scourge. Some believe that when enough blood has been spilled onto the soil of Barsaive, Death will be freed, and Death's Sea will revert to water.


This map was constructed with AutoREALM, a freeware cartography tool released under the GNU Public License. It is only available for Windows. I exported the map as a .jpeg and then converted it to a .gif with Jasc Paint Shop Pro. If you have AutoREALM installed, you can download the original map by right-clicking and selecting "Save to Disk" here.

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